Va. Lawmakers Flown Free To France in Lobbying Push for Uranium Mining

"RICHMOND — More than a dozen Virginia legislators are flying to France this month on all-expenses paid trips as part of an aggressive lobbying effort by a company pushing lawmakers to lift a ban on uranium mining in the state.

Virginia Uranium invited nearly all 140 state lawmakers to France as it looks to mine what is thought to be the largest deposit of uranium in the United States, in south central Virginia, despite concerns about unearthed radioactive material that could contaminate the area's land, air and drinking water.

Five legislators arrived in Paris on Wednesday to see a closed mine in Bessines, in western France, where uranium was excavated for 50 years until the late 1990s. Nine others leave Tuesday on a five-day trip — expected to cost $10,000 a person — that includes about three free days in Paris."

Anita Kumar reports for the Washington Post June 16, 2011.

Friday, June 17, 2011